Monday, September 2, 2013

Roadtrip with Rocketman - Split Rock Lighthouse

Rocketman never got a vacation this year thanks to his kidney stone so I booked us a couple days at a bed and breakfast in Duluth Labor Day weekend. We were so excited to go. We couldn't check in until 4:00 pm and it is only a few hours to Duluth from our house so I thought we should check out Split Rock Lighthouse and Two Harbors which is north of Duluth.

You know me and anything to do with history I'm all over it and Rocketman wanted to try out the new camera equipment he got for the Korea trip which never got used. The weather was great although it was a little hot for us in the middle 80's and very humid.

The Light Station was put into service on July 31, 1910. It was built by the federal government as a navigational aid, in response to a disastrous 1905 storm that sank or damaged 29 ships on western Lake Superior.
                              When you walk into the lighthouse, you are greeted with this sight.

Then there are the circular stairway up to the lighthouse. That's Rocketman making his way up. Did I tell you that he is not a fan of heights?
This is a photo of the lighthouse lens. The bivalve Fresnel lens was built in Paris, France, by Barbier, Benard and Turene. It was assembled prism by prism in the lighthouse's lantern room from materials with a total weight of nearly six and a half tons. Light for the beacon was provided by an incandescent kerosene vapor lamp.

 I'm also not a fan of heights and for some reason getting back down is more frightening for me.

                                       The view from the lighthouse was breathtaking.

                              I loved the barbwire that surrounded the lighthouse.
                                    But I really liked getting a close-up of the barbwire.

This was the home of the lightkeeper. During its first 20 years, the station was accessible only by boat so lighthouse keepers and their families lived on site for the Lake Superior shipping season and left for the winter months.

In 1924, the North Shore Highway was extended past the light station. The addition of a connecting road made the site accessible by car. By the 1930's, the keepers and their families could live there year-round and the light station had become a popular tourist attraction.

There are three lightkeeper homes but only one is open to the public.

                                   We were able to also visit inside the lightkeeper's home.
And look what we found inside, there was someone working on a quilt like they would have done in the old days.

                                           These were built-in steps that lead to the attic.

 More than 35 lighthouse keepers and their families called Split Rock home during the years the station was in service. Three keepers lived on site at any given time, taking four hour shifts throughout the night to keep the beacon lit.

During the day, keepers, cleaned and replenished fuel for the beacon and fog signal, painted and did general maintenance. They also built their own furniture and hunted their own meat including deer, moose and bear.

                                    I really enjoyed seeing how they lived in those days.
 Then we took a path down to the "money" shot of the lighthouse. I loved all the paper birches.

                                          Rocketman trying to keep up with me.
                                     Look what we found!  I felt like we were back in South Korea.
                                                   This is where it was located.
                                                              Here's the "million dollar" shot.
                              And I found more rock piles. It really, really made me miss Korea.

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